The 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World, 2018

International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR)

January 23-February 3, 2019  / Rotterdam, Netherlands /

This storied European fest is likely familiar to many of our readers, but refusing to rest on its laurels, it’s taken steps in recent years to “quietly reposition itself to become a major player on the European fest circuit once again,” according to a panelist. Recognizing Central and Western Europe mustn’t dominate the film landscape narrative, the fest champions voices from lesser represented regions through their Hubert Bals Fund, which “is designed to help remarkable or urgent feature films by innovative and talented moviemakers from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and parts of Eastern Europe on their road to completion.” They also run an international co-production market, CineMart, and provide moviemaker training through their Rotterdam Lab, which empowers producers in the international film marketplace.

International Film Festival Rotterdam’s Tiger Awards ceremony at the Willem Burgerzaal in De Doelen. Photograph by Jan de Groen, courtesy of International Film Festival Rotterdam

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  1. Sam

    August 18, 2018 at 10:16 am

    CiNEWORX is proud to Sponsor and Partner with SFF for 5 years running providing Digital Content (DCPS) for the Fest! Congrats SFF for making it 3 years running as one of the top 25 COOLEST FILM FESTIVALS to attend.

  2. ron

    July 10, 2018 at 5:10 pm

    How about calling it “Our reviewers 25 favorite festivals” — for these are festivals that your jury has presumably been to and likes — and that’s fine. To call it the world’s 25 coolest is a wee bit presumptuous, no?

  3. Duncan Putney

    July 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm

    Have you heard about the Flickers – Children’s Hospitals International Film Festival (CHIFF)? This new and growing festival provides a free program of new and amazing short films to the patients of children’s hospitals in the US and Canada (and soon Europe) and its the kids who vote on the award winners at each two week hospital event. CHIFF is part of the Rhode Island International Film Festival. CHIFF was recently endorsed by the US Surgeon General who said that great films are great medicine. How cool is that? You can find CHIFF on Facebook and Twitter using @FlickersCHIFF.

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